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Forensic DNA

Renata Dziak, Amy Peneder, Alicia Buetter, Cecilia Hageman
Trace DNA analysis is a significant part of a forensic laboratory's workload. Knowing optimal sampling strategies and item success rates for particular item types can assist in evidence selection and examination processes and shorten turnaround times. In this study, forensic short tandem repeat (STR) casework results were reviewed to determine how often STR profiles suitable for comparison were obtained from "handler" and "wearer" areas of 764 items commonly submitted for examination. One hundred and fifty-five (155) items obtained from volunteers were also sampled...
September 15, 2017: Journal of Forensic Sciences
Xiaoqin Qian, Jiayi Hou, Zheng Wang, Yi Ye, Min Lang, Tianzhen Gao, Jing Liu, Yiping Hou
There is high demand for forensic pedigree searches with Y-chromosome short tandem repeat (Y-STR) profiling in large-scale crime investigations. However, when two Y-STR haplotypes have a few mismatched loci, it is difficult to determine if they are from the same male lineage because of the high mutation rate of Y-STRs. Here we design a new strategy to handle cases in which none of pedigree samples shares identical Y-STR haplotype. We combine next generation sequencing (NGS), capillary electrophoresis and pyrosequencing under the term 'NGS+' for typing Y-STRs and Y-chromosomal single nucleotide polymorphisms (Y-SNPs)...
September 12, 2017: Scientific Reports
Alexandra L Emmons, Jennifer M DeBruyn, Amy Z Mundorff, Kelly L Cobaugh, Graciela S Cabana
Though recent decades have seen a marked increase in research concerning the impact of human decomposition on the grave soil environment, the fate of human DNA in grave soil has been relatively understudied. With the purpose of supplementing the growing body of literature in forensic soil taphonomy, this study assessed the relative persistence of human DNA in soil over the course of decomposition. Endpoint PCR was used to assess the presence or absence of human nuclear and mitochondrial DNA, while qPCR was used to evaluate the quantity of human DNA recovered from the soil beneath four cadavers at the University of Tennessee's Anthropology Research Facility (ARF)...
September 2017: Science & Justice: Journal of the Forensic Science Society
Ana Santurtún, José A Riancho, Maite Santurtún, Carlos Richard, M Mercedes Colorado, Mayte García Unzueta, María T Zarrabeitia
Biological samples from patients who have undergone allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) constitute a challenge for individual identification. In this study we analyzed the genetic profiles (by the amplification of 15 autosomic STRs) of HSCT patients found in different types of samples (blood, hair and urine) that may be the source of DNA in civil or criminal forensic cases. Our results show that while in hair follicles the donor component was not detected in any patient, thus being a reliable source of biological material for forensic identification, mixed chimerism was detected in urine samples from all patient, and no correlation was found between the time elapsed from the transplant and the percentage of chimerism...
September 2017: Science & Justice: Journal of the Forensic Science Society
Lisa L Smith, Jon H Wetton, Gurdeep K M Lall, Heather D Flowe, Mark A Jobling
In developed countries, DNA profiling routinely forms part of the forensic strategy in the investigation of sexual violence. Medical examinations provide opportunities for recovering DNA evidence from intimate swabs, which can be particularly probative in cases where the identity of the perpetrator is unknown and proof of intercourse between two people is required. In low-resource environments, such as developing countries, remote geographic locations, conflict (and post-conflict) affected regions and displaced communities where access to medical examinations is lacking, DNA evidence is not available to support prosecutions and perpetrators are rarely identified and held accountable for crimes of sexual violence...
September 2017: Science & Justice: Journal of the Forensic Science Society
Huda H Al-Griw, Zena A Zraba, Salsabiel K Al-Muntaser, Marwan M Draid, Aisha M Zaidi, Refaat M Tabagh, Mohamed A Al-Griw
Efficient extraction of genomic DNA (gDNA) from biological materials found in harsh environments is the first step for successful forensic DNA profiling. This study aimed to evaluate two methods for DNA recovery from animal tissues (livers, muscles), focusing on the best storage temperature for DNA yield in term of quality, quantity, and integrity for use in several downstream molecular techniques. Six male Swiss albino mice were sacrificed, liver and muscle tissues (n=32) were then harvested and stored for one week in different temperatures, -20°C, 4°C, 25°C and 40°C...
2017: Open veterinary journal
Yuya Hamano, Sho Manabe, Chie Morimoto, Shuntaro Fujimoto, Keiji Tamaki
There is high demand for forensic age prediction in actual crime investigations. In this study, a novel age prediction model for saliva samples using methylation-sensitive high resolution melting (MS-HRM) was developed. The methylation profiles of ELOVL2 and EDARADD showed high correlations with age and were used to predict age with support vector regression. ELOVL2 was first reported as an age predictive marker for saliva samples. The prediction model showed high accuracy with a mean absolute deviation (MAD) from chronological age of 5...
September 5, 2017: Scientific Reports
Guanglin He, Mengge Wang, Jing Liu, Yiping Hou, Zheng Wang
Short tandem repeats (STRs) are DNA regions with a variable number of repeated units (2-6 bp) and attractive to genetic application like forensic, population genetics, and anthropological studies. The Huaxia Platinum System allows the multiplex amplification of 23 autosomal STR loci and two gender determination loci. In the present study, genetic polymorphisms of these 23 autosomal STR loci were first obtained from 309 Sichuan Han individuals, southwest China. No evidence of deviation from the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium (HWE) was identified...
September 5, 2017: International Journal of Legal Medicine
Kristy Steensma, Ricky Ansell, Lindy Clarisse, Edward Connolly, Ate D Kloosterman, Louise G McKenna, Roland A H van Oorschot, Bianca Szkuta, Bas Kokshoorn
To address questions on the activity that led to the deposition of biological traces in a particular case, general information on the probabilities of transfer, persistence and recovery of cellular material in relevant scenarios is necessary. These figures may be derived from experimental data described in forensic literature when conditions relevant to the case were included. The experimental methodology regarding sampling, DNA extraction, DNA typing and profile interpretation that were used to generate these published data may differ from those applied in the case and thus the applicability of the literature data may be questioned...
August 19, 2017: Forensic Science International. Genetics
Iva Gomes, Plácido J P Pereira, Sonja Harms, Andréa M Oliveira, Peter M Schneider, António Brehm
A male West African sample from Guinea-Bissau (West-African coast) was genetically analyzed using 12 X chromosomal short tandem repeats that are grouped into four haplotype groups. Linkage disequilibrium was tested (p≤0.0008) and association was detected for the majority of markers in three out of the four studied haplotype clusters. The sample of 332 unrelated individuals analyzed in this study belonged to several recognized ethnic groups (n=18) which were used to evaluate the genetic variation of Guinea-Bissau's population...
August 24, 2017: Forensic Science International. Genetics
Daniel Kling, Thore Egeland, Mariana Herrera Piñero, Magnus Dehli Vigeland
Methods and implementations of DNA-based identification are well established in several forensic contexts. However, assessing the statistical power of these methods has been largely overlooked, except in the simplest cases. In this paper we outline general methods for such power evaluation, and apply them to a large set of family reunification cases, where the objective is to decide whether a person of interest (POI) is identical to the missing person (MP) in a family, based on the DNA profile of the POI and available family members...
August 12, 2017: Forensic Science International. Genetics
Jerilyn A Walker, Vallmer E Jordan, Cody J Steely, Thomas O Beckstrom, Cullen L McDaniel, Corey P St Romain, Emily C Bennett, Arianna Robichaux, Brooke N Clement, Miriam K Konkel, Mark A Batzer
The genus of Papio (baboon) has six recognized species separated into Northern and Southern clades, each comprised of three species distributed across the African continent. Geographic origin and phenotypic variants such as coat color and body size have commonly been used to identify different species. The existence of multiple hybrid zones, both ancient and current, have complicated efforts to characterize the phylogeny of Papio baboons. More recently, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and Y-chromosome genetic markers have been utilized for species identification with particular focus on the hybrid zones...
June 1, 2017: Genome Biology and Evolution
Hussain Alghanim, Joana Antunes, Deborah Soares Bispo Santos Silva, Clarice Sampaio Alho, Kuppareddi Balamurugan, Bruce McCord
Recent developments in the analysis of epigenetic DNA methylation patterns have demonstrated that certain genetic loci show a linear correlation with chronological age. It is the goal of this study to identify a new set of epigenetic methylation markers for the forensic estimation of human age. A total number of 27 CpG sites at three genetic loci, SCGN, DLX5 and KLF14, were examined to evaluate the correlation of their methylation status with age. These sites were evaluated using 72 blood samples and 91 saliva samples collected from volunteers with ages ranging from 5 to 73 years...
August 7, 2017: Forensic Science International. Genetics
Athina Vidaki, Celia Díez López, Elena Carnero-Montoro, Arwin Ralf, Kirsten Ward, Timothy Spector, Jordana T Bell, Manfred Kayser
Monozygotic (MZ) twins share the same STR profile, demonstrating a practical problem in forensic casework. DNA methylation has provided a suitable resource for MZ twin differentiation; however, studies addressing the forensic feasibility are lacking. Here, we investigated epigenetic MZ twin differentiation from blood under the forensic scenario comprising i) the discovery of candidate markers in reference-type blood DNA via genome-wide analysis, ii) the technical validation of candidate markers in reference-type blood DNA using a suitable targeted method, and iii) the analysis of the validated markers in trace-type DNA...
August 18, 2017: Forensic Science International. Genetics
Michael J Saks, Thomas Albright, Thomas L Bohan, Barbara E Bierer, C Michael Bowers, Mary A Bush, Peter J Bush, Arturo Casadevall, Simon A Cole, M Bonner Denton, Shari Seidman Diamond, Rachel Dioso-Villa, Jules Epstein, David Faigman, Lisa Faigman, Stephen E Fienberg, Brandon L Garrett, Paul C Giannelli, Henry T Greely, Edward Imwinkelried, Allan Jamieson, Karen Kafadar, Jerome P Kassirer, Jonathan 'Jay' Koehler, David Korn, Jennifer Mnookin, Alan B Morrison, Erin Murphy, Nizam Peerwani, Joseph L Peterson, D Michael Risinger, George F Sensabaugh, Clifford Spiegelman, Hal Stern, William C Thompson, James L Wayman, Sandy Zabell, Ross E Zumwalt
Several forensic sciences, especially of the pattern-matching kind, are increasingly seen to lack the scientific foundation needed to justify continuing admission as trial evidence. Indeed, several have been abolished in the recent past. A likely next candidate for elimination is bitemark identification. A number of DNA exonerations have occurred in recent years for individuals convicted based on erroneous bitemark identifications. Intense scientific and legal scrutiny has resulted. An important National Academies review found little scientific support for the field...
December 2016: Journal of Law and the Biosciences
Yanjun Ding, Xingmei Li, Ceng Chen, Jiang Ling, Weichen Li, Yadong Guo, Jie Yan, Lagabaiyla Zha, Jifeng Cai
Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is a highly toxic gas as a cause of inhalational death. Accurate detection of H2S poisoning concentration is valuable and vital for forensic workers to estimate the cause of death. But so far, it is no uniform and reliable standard method to measure sulfide concentrations in H2S poisoning blood for forensic identification. This study introduces a fluorescence sensing technique into forensic research, in which a DNA-templated copper/silver nanocluster (DNA-Cu/AgNCs) fluorescence probe has been proposed to selective detection of S(2-)...
August 29, 2017: Scientific Reports
Ines Pickrahn, Gabriele Kreindl, Eva Müller, Bettina Dunkelmann, Waltraud Zahrer, Jan Cemper-Kiesslich, F Neuhuber
Forensic DNA analyses have become more and more sensitive in the past years. With the ability to generate DNA profiles even from minute amounts of cellular material also the possibility to detect DNA on trace material that originates from persons not linked to the crime event, such as crime scene investigators, increases. The contamination of crime scene samples can lead to false positive results and misinterpretation that can cause deceptive investigations. In this work we continue a study of 2010 that compared the number of detected contamination incidents that were caused in the pre-analytical phase of forensic DNA analysis with the number of crime scene samples analyzed by our laboratory...
July 27, 2017: Forensic Science International. Genetics
Kelly A Meiklejohn, James M Robertson
In cases where only a partial or incomplete STR profile is obtained from a sample, information contained in single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) can prove informative for human identification. Thermo Fisher Scientific, which developed the high throughput Ion Torrent(™) PGM(™) sequencer, released the Precision ID Identity Panel, a multiplex SNP panel for human identity. We evaluated the reproducibility and sensitivity of this multiplex, which contains primers for the amplification of 90 autosomal SNPs and 34 Y-clade SNPs...
August 9, 2017: Forensic Science International. Genetics
Georgios Koukouvinos, Aristea Metheniti, Chrysoula-Evangelia Karachaliou, Dimitrios Goustouridis, Evangelia Livaniou, Konstantinos Misiakos, Ioannis Raptis, Aikaterini Kondili, Penelope Miniati, Panagiota Petrou, Sotirios Kakabakos
A label-free biosensor based on white light reflectance spectroscopy for the determination of PSA as semen indicator in forensic samples is presented. The sensor is based on a two-step immunoassay which employs the same polyclonal anti-PSA antibody as capture and detection antibody followed by reaction with streptavidin as a signal enhancement step. The whole assay time was set to 10min; 5min reaction of immobilized antibody with the PSA calibrators or the samples, 3min reaction with the biotinylated anti-PSA antibody and 2min reaction with streptavidin...
December 1, 2017: Talanta
Jana Naue, Huub C J Hoefsloot, Olaf R F Mook, Laura Rijlaarsdam-Hoekstra, Marloes C H van der Zwalm, Peter Henneman, Ate D Kloosterman, Pernette J Verschure
The use of DNA methylation (DNAm) to obtain additional information in forensic investigations showed to be a promising and increasing field of interest. Prediction of the chronological age based on age-dependent changes in the DNAm of specific CpG sites within the genome is one such potential application. Here we present an age-prediction tool for whole blood based on massive parallel sequencing (MPS) and a random forest machine learning algorithm. MPS allows accurate DNAm determination of pre-selected markers and neighboring CpG-sites to identify the best age-predictive markers for the age-prediction tool...
August 1, 2017: Forensic Science International. Genetics
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